This week’s Mom’s 52 recipe brings back memories of my childhood. My mom would make a batch of Thit Cha Bong – Shredded Chicken and keep it saved in the refrigerator for quick and easy meals for us kids. Even when other kids around us were finicky eaters (never, ever me – wink, wink), a ball of white rice stuffed with Thit Cha Bong – Mom’s special “sushi” – became a finger food that no child would turn down.
Some Vietnamese people call this dish “Ruoc.” The name difference just lends itself to different regional dialects in the Vietnamese language.
These days, you can find Thit Cha Bong for sale in some Vietnamese fast food restaurants. Although buying it is a convenient way to have Thit Cha Bong at home, those versions tend to be a lot fluffier and softer in texture than Mom’s version. Mom suggests the difference in textures is because of the difference in starting meat quality – long story short: make it at home! (Who ever heard of fluffy, soft meat?)
Thit Cha Bong aka Ruoc
INGREDIENTS – makes about 3 cups:
- 2 large chicken breasts, cooked (boiled) & shredded
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Combine all ingredients in a large skillet, and turn on low heat.
- Using a wide, flat spoon, repeat the process of “flatten, spread, toss” to slowly dry, toast, and further shred the chicken. If you have large pieces, shred them a bit by hand to speed up the process. NOTE: Make sure to do all three steps (flatten, spread, toss) to yield the correct texture. Here’s how: 1) Use the flat end of the wide spoon to press down on the chicken in the middle of the skillet; 2) Press and spread the chicken from the middle outward before lifting the spoon back up; and 3) Use the spoon to then toss the chicken. Repeat.
- By 30 minutes, your Thit Cha Bong should be toasty and finely shredded. (And your own arm muscles should be a little sore.)
Serve Thit Cha Bong over regular white rice, or over sweet rice like our recipe for Xoi Lap Xuong. Store extra Thit Cha Bong in the refrigerator – it should keep for a few weeks. Enjoy!
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